About the Book
If you've ever longed for the Old Man of Cape Horn to cheer up, or to rescue the Person of Cromer from his sudden and unexplained conclusion, or to silence that annoying Old Man with a Bell, then this is the book you've been waiting for.
One hundred and twelve brand new limericks based on Edward Lear's verses in his ground-breaking work, A Book of Nonsense (1846 and 1863).
Plus Edward Lear's original verses.
That's two hundred and twenty four limericks!
But why the new new take on old poems?
Because Edward Lear ignored the most important part of the limerick - the fifth line, which adds a twist to the story and makes us chuckle.
Lear would establish a premise that was knowingly and joyfully absurd, then end with an anti-climax. His final line simply repeated the rhyme and substance of what he'd said at the start.
The Fifth Line revisits A Book of Nonsense, crafting a proper limerick from every verse.
They're all here, from An Old Man With a Nose to A Young Lady Whose Bonnet, and everything in between.
The Fifth Line: Limericks After Lear.
About the Author
John Arthur Nichol hates writing about himself in the third person, so I won't do that.
I was born in a hospital named for a king, which now forms part of a hospital named for a prince, and I assume both will be subsumed one day in a hospital named for a robber baron, of whom Sydney's had plenty.
67 years later I've worked out what I want to do with my life, and it's something I've been doing all along. I write in verse. I'm not calling it poetry, but I write in verse. I can't help it. Verse happens all day long in my head as my thoughts mould to the flow of half-remembered melodies. English nags me with its rhythms; and if that's not bad enough, I'm compelled to rhyme.
So that's who I am and what I do. It's taken a lifetime to recognise it, accept it, and work out what to do about it.
I thought for a time that picture books must be the vessel to carry my stories written in verse, so Sascha Martin's Rocket-Ship, Time Machine and Super Ball, respectively, appeared with the beautiful illustrations of Manuela Pentangelo.
But the more I wrote ... the more I wrote. The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. And the more I understood my needs and my intention.
I wasn't writing picture books.
I was writing stories that made me smile. I think they make other people smile as well. Not everyone. Just the people who get what I'm doing and who enjoy a smile.
They're the ones I'm writing for. And me, of course.
So, text is my medium, my stories are in verse that rhymes, my audience is older kids, grown-ups, family, but only the ones who like rhyming smiles. And the format is regular paperback.
Just the facts, Ma'am ...
1955: Born in Sydney.
65 years of stony sleep ...
2020: Retired. New website for my writing.
2022: Epiphany. New website MK II for my writing. Torn between two websites (feeling like a fool). Still writing in verse. Still smiling.
Sascha Martin Books by John Arthur Nichol:
Sascha Martin’s Rocket-Ship
Sascha Martin’s Time Machine
Sascha Martin’s Super Ball
Sascha Martin's Zombie Dust
Limerick books by John Arthur Nichol:
The Fifth Line: Limericks After Lear Book 1
The Next Hundred Lears: Limericks After Lear Book 2
A Wee Bit of Integrity: Limericks After Derry Girls, Seasons 1 and 2